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First Click -- Maryland

First Click

Your Daily Download of Maryland's Top Political News and Analysis

Tuesday, October 13, 2009:

   Welcome back from a long Columbus Day weekend. Gov. Martin O'Malley has returned from Florida and a Miami Beach fundraiser. The General Assembly's House and Senate Judiciary committees plan to convene today on juvenile justice. Reverberations continue following The Post's report on Monday that problems cited with O'Malley administration proposals will likely extend the state's hiatus on capital punishment well into next year. And an Annapolis lobbyist representing Prince George's County and law enforcement groups will stand trial today on drunken-driving charges.

Death Penalty Dispute
   Del. Michael D. Smigiel Sr. (R-Cecil), a supporter of capital punishment, continues to blast what he calls a conscious effort by O'Malley and state lawmakers who are opposed to the death penalty to sit on reforms that could allow the state to resume lethal injections.
   Smigiel sits on the legislative panel tasked with reviewing fixes to the state's capital punishment procedures. The panel, co-chaired by Sen. Paul G. Pinsky and Del. Anne Healey, Prince George's County Democrats who oppose capital punishment, requested the process be put on hold. Smigiel, who told The Post's John Wagner that the delays are among many efforts he expects by opponents to attempt to "subvert the law," continued his attack to the Maryland Daily Record, saying death penalty opponents are attempting to achieve "a political end through inaction."
   Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, a group working to repeal the state's death penalty law, says it plans to hold a fundraiser tonight in Silver Spring. The event is titled "A Toast to Progress." The timing appears coincidental, it was scheduled previously, and the "progress" refers to the law passed during the last legislative session to tighten evidence standards in capital cases.
   The Baltimore Sun's editorial board writes that opponents are right to be concerned that O'Malley and Democrats are dragging their feet, but the law should be scrapped anyway:
   "Given that the advisory panel's leaders oppose capital punishment -- a position we share -- it is hard to imagine they would devise regulations they would not consider inherently flawed. A "humane" method of killing someone is an oxymoron."

Prince George's County v. Its Lobbyist
   Lobbyist David A. Jacobs, who represented Prince George's County Council, its sheriff's office, the Town of Colmar Manor and a developer during the state's last legislative session, is scheduled to stand trial today on drunken-driving charges.
   Jacobs, who is the husband of Prince George's County school board chairman Verjeana M. Jacobs (At Large), was charged with DUI and other traffic offenses after losing control of his sport-utility vehicle April 29 and striking a guardrail and another vehicle, police said. It was the latest in a string of similar charges he has faced since the early 1990s, even as he has continued to represent the county and law enforcement interests.

Report: State knew of juvenile GPS tracking problems before shooting
   Months before a 17-year-old under GPS monitoring left his Baltimore area home and allegedly shot a 5-year-old, state officials knew of problems locating teens who left their homes, reports the WBAL-TV. E-mails and other documents show months of back-and-forth over the issue, according to the report.

Gov. Tracker:
   Gov. O'Malley (D), who held a fundraiser at a home of supporters in the Miami Beach area over the weekend, is back in the state and will film a public service announcement today with the Redskins urging eligible residents to take advantage of Medicaid benefits.

And, if you missed it over the weekend:

  • Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson (D) is not running for the governor's office.

  • The ACLU goes after free speech in parks.

  • Maryland Politics Watch writes the unauthorized biography of O'Malley's new Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez.

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    By Aaron C. Davis  |  October 13, 2009; 8:45 AM ET
    Categories:  Aaron C. Davis , First Click  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: ACLU Goes After Speech Limits in Montgomery, Prince George's
    Next: Live In Prince George's

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